Beta blocker withdrawal: Hello 28 years... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

29,649 members19,402 posts

Beta blocker withdrawal

west9two profile image

Hello 28 years old i have a birth defect that i needed bypass surgery for and been on beta blockers for about a year 2 months ago i stopped them and im feeling horrible all day long i barely get out of bed im always lightheaded or dizzy and naseous some mild chest pain... idk whether to go to the hospital or its the medication coming out of me dont know what to do no more! I was on both meteprolol and cardevilol .... never felt this way before! Has anyone else gone through this? Please let me know

23 Replies
MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Hello and welcome to the forum!

Please may I asked why you stopped them? The fact you were on two suggests you were prescribed them for more than to reduce the strain on the heart as I was post bypass. Where you prescribed them pre or post bypass?

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to MichaelJH

Before my surgery i was taking them for like 8 months after surgery i was on cardevilol... i stopped them because cardiologist said it was fine because i also had bad side effects with them...

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to west9two

Have you checked your HR and BP? As it is Sunday I would suggest you call 111 for advice.

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to MichaelJH

Yes both stay a little high

Did you just stop them or did you taper ? For some people ( including me ) beta blocker withdrawal can be terrible . I tried and failed to stop bisoprolol twice . I tapered too fast for my system and the symptoms were so bad I went back on . Then I changed to atenolol which doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier so the symptoms aren’t as bad for me as bisoprolol . I have left a month between drops to allow my body to adjust but now down to 3 mg from 25 mg symptoms are starting to bite . So I do know how awful it is .I have had a friendly cardiologist supervising my withdrawal this time.

Are you getting post surgery check ups ? I would be inclined to get checked out particularly as you have just had major surgery and discuss your options . A lot of people do get bad reactions to stopping beta blockers particularly abruptly . I would avoid bisoprolol if I were you . Please keep us posted

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to Peony4575

Thanks for responding yes i guess u can say i tapered off maybe a little too fast im not sure. And my surgery was in may so my first check up would be next month! Can i ask what symptoms u had after u stopped that made go back to them? And how long after u stopped u went back to them?

Im thinking of going back to it and maybe taper off again for longer because i never felt this way while on them its sucks that they never warn you about stuff like this everybodys different one cardiologist once told me that after 12 hours of stopping it should be out my system. Smh he didnt want to listen

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to west9two

I know. Some people can just stop them without difficulty so cardiologists tend to lot take seriously those of us who have severe reactions. There is a forum called Bisoprolol Buddies and you will see severe reactions are common .Coming of bisoprolol was awful I had lots of different palpitations anxiety through the roof felt nauseous weak and wobbly like I could collapse at anytime . What drove me back on was in the second week off I got frightening pounding tachycardias went bright red all over and felt like I was going to collapse . I took a fragment of beta blocker and it just stopped . So I took the bisoprolol initially changed to atenolol. Stopped the bisoprolol one day started atenolol the next and I still got symptoms from stopping the bisoprolol but the atenolol held it down . The further away from the bisoprolol I got the more things improved and I started weaning off the atenolol and that has been easier . Stopped getting all the arrhythmia I was getting on bisoprolol . During the bisoprolol withdrawal I couldn’t leave the house for two months I felt so awful now am back walking the dog etc . I think you should definitely get checked out I ended up in a&e twice during the bisoprolol withdrawal as the arrhythmia s were so bad . Then it’s a choice of sticking it out as you have come so far or discussing other choices . The symptoms you have described ( dizziness weakness etc) the cardiologist said were centrally mediated ie caused by the drug crossing the blood brain barrier which is why the switch to atenolol which doesn’t . But do get checked out as a first step .

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to Peony4575

I have been to the ER twice the first time i tried to wean off had head Ct scan ecg Echo blood and they said i was fine even tho i felt like crap at the hospital and all they told me was maybe i should continue beta blocker so i did for like another month (carvedilol) and felt somewhat better then i tried again almost 3 months ago and here i am again i feel like im at the peak of this withdrawal at least i hope it is....what does it mean to cross brain barrier?

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to west9two

Am not medically qualified but basically in order to cross the protective brain barrier a drug has to be lipid soluble . Unfortunately for you both the beta blockers you have taken are lipid soluble so the symptoms you have described are like the ones I got from bisoprolol withdrawal. Atenolol is water soluble so doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier which is better for me personally . Great news that you have been to the ER and been checked out because if you are feeling like I felt it’s hard to believe you’re not going to die . If you have been checked out and given the all clear and you have been off two months I would probably stick it out as a lot of people say they pick up at 3-4 months and you don’t want to go through all this again. If you do go back on a beta blocker for any reason I would personally refuse to take one that is lipid soluble because I can’t tolerate them and it would have to be a matter of life or death for me to take any beta blocker again . Don’t struggle on your own I have had people from this forum supporting me . People can’t understand if they haven’t been through it

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to Peony4575

I would also say don’t stay in bed unless you have to . That doesn’t help with the lightheaded ness etc it helps to move about a bit even only in the house if you feel safe to do so

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to Peony4575

Even in bed i feel lightheaded sometimes i do get up walk around a bit but sometimes the symptoms get to me and just want to lay down 😔

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to Peony4575

Damn i didnt even know about that i thought all BB were the same ....im gonna have to look into that cause ever since i started metoprolol last year my life litteraly went downhill i left my job and everything.... i appreciate u taking the time to respond and let me know this cause i had no clue in my head im still sick and just getting worse... i have read online other ppls reviews on beta blockers and some ppl would say they got over them after 6 months after only taking them for a short period of time ... just glad i found some ppl that feel the way i am and can give some advice i would put BB on my allergic list never want to take any again at least i hope

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to west9two

Yes I was only on bisoprolol a few weeks before withdrawing . It was a cardiologist who explained to me why I would be better on atenolol . I agree it is impossible to function feeling as you do . I hope you start to pick up soon. I will be stopping the atenolol altogether in a few weeks am literally taking a crumb. Fingers crossed

in reply to west9two

Have just seen you have stopped bisoprolol. I was only on them for 3 months then because of side effects advised to wean off them. It took me a further 8 nightmare months to come off it and even now 4 months later I am suffering multiple palpitations day and night. It is not easy the rebound is very bad but because I read the experiences of others who had stopped I realise it going to be a long road back to full recovery. Search bisoprolol withdrawal nightmare and read what other people have been through and it helps that you are not alone and you will see the withdrawal symptoms other people have had to contend with.Good luck and if you would like anymore info please just ask.

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to

Thanks i was not on bisoprolol i was on other beta blockers but i can see its kinda the same... can i ask what were your symptoms during withdrawal?

in reply to west9two

My main symptoms were sleep deprivation, anxiety which I have never had in my life, palpitations, general feeling of being unwell which I had to lie down nearly every morning and afternoon for about 30 minutes to an hour.I have now been off biso for nearly four months and the most debilitating for me have been the severe prolonged palpitations which are still with me every day, although they are not supposed to be life threatening they are very debilitating.

I have just stopped my bisoprolol 3 days ago because it was affecting my breathing, nose dripping constantly and just generally sluggish. Well today I feel breathless and unwell and thinking about going back on it. I have Svt, heart block and mitral valve prolapse. I,m 73 and thinking bad things today like am I at the end of my life. You are 28 and I have great compassion for you, you have the rest of your life to live. X

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to Delnoleen

I have compassion for you also . Bisoprolol withdrawal can make you feel breathless and unwell . However you have a few medical conditions going on there and I would encourage you to get some help coming off the bisoprolol from a gp or cardiologist because for some people it is no easy matter particularly if you stop abruptly which can be dangerous . Maybe discuss with your go if you could try a different beta blocker. Bisoprolol made me breathless atenolol not so much but do get medical advice about stopping if you haven’t already

west9two profile image
west9two in reply to Delnoleen

Are you going to take it again? I really hope you get better as well. Sometimes doctors dont see the side effects these drugs do to us for some ppl they might work and not so well for others

Delnoleen profile image
Delnoleen in reply to west9two

Yes! I decided to take it again, I don,t know which is worse being on it or trying to come off it. I,m waiting for an ablation and my mitral valve gets checked every year. I,m quite active for my age but this problem has made it difficult for me to be independent. My family all work and I don,t want to be a burden,

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to Delnoleen

It’s hard being home alone for hours when you feel like that I know and lockdown/tier restrictions don’t help. I would ask about changing your beta blocker .Ask for one that isn’t lipid soluble the side effect profile is better and it may make it much easier for you to come off after you have had a successful ablation thinking ahead . I was breathless and could only walk a very short distance on bisoprolol . Was walking fog for an hour before . Am much better on atenolol and there are others not lipid soluble. Don’t suffer in silence x

It is so difficult to see a doctor during this coronavirus. I did go a couple months ago because I felt so breathless, they did not seem to show interest because I,m awaiting an ablation. I,m functioning but it is so difficult. I have a small house with stairs, it’s like climbing Mount Everest. All my life I worked took good care of my house and brought up 3 successful children, I reassure myself that there are many people my age who are much worse off than myself. Thanks for your concern. I worry about everybody and wish I could put the world to rights but that will never happen. I wish you well, this site is a Godsend.

Peony4575 profile image
Peony4575 in reply to Delnoleen

I just rang up my practice and asked to be changed . They put me through to the practice pharmacist. I explained she sent a script to be signed by the doctor they sent it to pharmacist and they dropped it off at my door . It’s up to you . But either way I wish you all the very very best and hope you will soon be on here telling everyone about your successful ablation x

You may also like...